PD Howler 11 – Axehead is the latest in the PD Howler series of digital painting and visual effects applications.
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Release Date:
May 5, 2017

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Recent updates View all (2)

July 19

Free update from PD Howler 11 to PD Howler 11.1

In case you missed it: we've been busy during the heatwave, and have now released an update called v11.1. "Summer Splash". The latest is RC53, and we are likely releasing at least one more update to that, in coming days. We missed updating some volumetric clouds in the 3D Designer filter.

For Steam users who have v11, this is a free update. It has not yet been deployed onto Steam, but it's coming. Might take a few weeks. We're looking into how best to make it seamlessly deploy as the new v11.1 when you uninstall and reinstall under Steam. Stay tuned for news.



For the adventurous amongst Steam users (that means: all of us), there is also a do-it-yourself method, offered to everyone with a current legit running copy of v11. You can install 5 essential 'main' files to update your v11 to v11.1, you can skip or add some optional Watercolor brush Medias, and you can skip or update the volumetric clouds settings used by 3D Designer.

For more details about what's new in v11.1, and get the update, see this:


Thanks for waffling and howling on Steam!

Here's a short summary of what's new:

By far the most exciting new feature is a set of improvements on rendering in Puppy Ray, our ray tracer, especially for the water plane, which adds the look of murky water due to scattering, and depth based color loss (red first, then green and finally blue), even caustics, and more.

What's New?

Foreword: It's not just about pixels and visuals. It's also about visions. This scene plays in a dark forest on a misty, foggy night, near a cold pond with murky water, littered with the remnants of many others who have fallen in epic battles against The Monster.

"Freeze! This is the Police! Who goes there in the dark? Identify thyself!"
"Yes Sir, It's just me, your beloved GPU, sent by her Majesty, the Duchess of 'Puterberry, on a mission to do some good."
"Ah, okay then, carry on, ol' chap, you go along now, ... and, and.... er,.... do your thing, whatever you do best."
"Thank you so very much, kind Sir, I promise to be quick and nimble. Off I go.... Woof! Woof!"
"Yes, yes, that's fine, I suppose. ....Do be careful dear chap, would hate to loose you, there are ghastly monsters in the woods. Beware of traps and endless loops!"
" Thank you indeed Sir, but do not worry, I've been told I'm very good at this. The Duchess said so herself."
Hm... yes.... good, the lad seems good and agile indeed.... and howling fast too. There is still hope for us all.

Ok, that wasn't really new.This is what's new:

menu: View > Settings > Threading and GPU: This now also shows which GPU is doing the busy work for those tools that use the GPU, such as Puppy Ray GPU, or ambient occlusion in 3D Designer - this is useful to know when you have multiple graphics subsystems, such as integrated graphics and full blown extra card, or similar ambiguities.

GPU Identity shown in PuppyRay GPU edition
The GPU identity is now showing in Puppy Ray (GPU version)

A lot more has been added and enhanced to Puppy Ray GPU. Scroll down or click here to see more features

A new default color picker.

A rounded look to interface items like sliders.

Select among 3 styles for scrollers (aka sliders)

The L-Systems feature has been internalized, improved too, replacing the plugin version, using XML format for the saved settings instead of binary file format.

Painting or Animating a brush along a curve now supports animbrushes

Added a number of new watercolor media. Maybe you'll find some that you like?

Shading in Optipustic particles is now a slider instead of an on/off toggle, same as also newly added in the foliage tab. The dark shading that used to be black can now be adjusted to a dark grey or even all the way to have little or no shading at all. This helps in allow some ambient coloring to remain present even in the darkest areas. We also found and fixed an issue where the ambient color on the foliage tool was incorrectly initialized, causing foliage to be darker than expected.

- Shading on particles and foliage is now an adjustable slider instead of an on/off checkbox.

- Fixed a bug in foliage rendering. Ambient color was not properly initialized, resulting in foliage being darker than expected.

- Fog color indicator was in the wrong place on the particle panel.

3D Designer

Experimental: We removed the "reverse" checkbox because it had little impact on erosion. We replaced it with "Viscocity," which is another parameter in the algorithm that already existed, but was not available from the interface. It was already present in the interface of the separate Erosion filter under Filter > Stylize. Now it is also accessible in 3D Designer. Subtle as it is, you may find it useful for the different look of lite rainfall erosion on hard marble or granite vs. heavy wash erosion on sandstone.

Sprites in Particle Modeler (!)

Now you can load an image from the brush or images from an animbrush into the particle modeler to create very different clouds.

Last but not least:
HOT!!!! further dramatic improvements in Puppy Ray GPU
- New Light attenuation and scattering options for more water realism.
- Antialiasing is improved when using the multiple frequencies on water surfaces. (the Multifreq option)
- Fixed a bug in specular reflections. Specular reflections were isometric instead of perspective.
- Detail textures (bump maps) now use the fog depth distance instead of rendering only in the first unit, so farther objects can have some texture.
- enhanced rendering quality with better calculation of indirect lighting,
- and other improvements.


- Fixed errant debug message when loading a default media.
- other not-so-minor tweaks and improvements

4 comments Read more

About This Software

A digital painting and visual effects program for Microsoft Windows.

PD Howler 11 – Axehead is the latest in the PD Howler series of digital painting and visual effects applications. This affordable, but hugely powerful application includes new Painting, Animation, 3D and Visual FX tools.

As with all the applications in the PD Howler series, PD Howler 11 – Axehead is the perfect tool for home designers and game developers. It is a fraction of the cost of the so called professional applications, yet offers many of the same features.

What's new in Howler 11

  • Raytracing improvements including bounce light, refraction, water, bump maps, and visible sun in Puppy Ray
  • New adjustable gradient tool and contour gradients
  • Numeric entry throughout the program
  • Callouts and vector objects
  • Improved image scaling and crop tool
  • Improved curve and rotoscope tools
  • Enhanced timeline and font panel
  • Improved media browser: Delete media, and save particle media
  • The color picker from Particle 9 has been added and remembers settings
  • GUI color settings and new system rendering options
  • New Filters, including water drops, bilateral, Julia set, normal map, water caustics, water ripples, Worley noise, shape bombing, and fracture
  • All new programming API, and much more...

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 7, 8 or 10 (64-bit Windows, is recommended even though this is a 32-bit program).
    • Processor: 1.0 GHz or better that supports SSE2
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Your GPU (if you want to use it in Puppy Ray or other tools that use the GPU), and who doesn't?) needs to support Shader level 6.
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • OS: Windows 7, 8 or 10 (64-bit Windows, is recommended even though this is a 32-bit program).
    • Processor: Quad core or higher will help
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Your GPU (if you want to use it in Puppy Ray or other tools that use the GPU), and who doesn't?) needs to support Shader level 6.
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
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